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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202137 Find in a Library
Title: Good Girls, Sexy "Bad Girls," and Warriors: The Role of Trauma and Dissociation in the Creation and Reproduction of Gender (From Trauma and Sexuality: The Effects of Childhood Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Abuse on Sexual Identity and Behavior, P 5-32, 2002, James A. Chu, and Elizabeth S. Bowman,
Author(s): Elizabeth F. Howell Ph.D.
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Medical Press
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
Sale Source: Haworth Medical Press
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter articulates a trauma- and dissociation-based theory of gendered personality styles.
Abstract: The author posits that the personality styles of “femininity” and “masculinity” are the direct and indirect outcomes of trauma and reflect a state of dissociation. Throughout the chapter, the author makes a case that childhood trauma may be a contributing factor to the formation of gendered personality styles, especially pathological ones. The literature on gender is reviewed and it is shown that this literature omits the possible effects of trauma and dissociation on the development of gendered personality styles. The author argues that the stereotypical roles of “femininity” and “masculinity” are posttraumatic styles and become the accepted modes of interaction. Social forces, such as sex-typed child rearing practices, and biological predispositions interact with trauma to produce these posttraumatic styles for males and females. Females with a history of trauma are described as compliant, childlike, passive, and sweet, while males with a history of trauma are described as stereotypically “masculine.” Aggressive and violent behavior reproduces feelings of trauma, which in turn reproduce the gendered personality styles. The author is careful to point out that the presence of a gendered personality style does not necessarily indicate a history of trauma in any given individual. Furthermore, therapeutic interventions that increase psychological health may help these gendered personality styles become better integrated. References
Main Term(s): Personality assessment; Theory
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Long term health effects of child abuse; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
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